2011 Elite Series - Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash
Lake Murray - Columbia, SC, May 12 - 15, 2011

B.A.S.S. odd couple: Who are you?

Don Barone
My stuff is on the left. His stuff is on the right.

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

"Who are you
Who, who, who, who…"

Dateline:  Roomin' Lake Murray, S.C.

I ate a vegetable last night.

Broccoli.

It about killed me. 

And I don't have my margarita blender with me, to you know, equalize vegetables. 

Worse.

There are no donuts within sight.  I haven't been in a situation like this since the summer of 1970, Haight-Ashbury, when I suddenly, somehow woke up in a room filled with cats.  And two saxophones.

To this day I don't like cats, and can barely look at the horn section without getting chill bumps.

Weird.

I've had two roommates in my life.  Things didn't work out so well with the first one, we got kicked out of the apartment we shared because for some reason the landlord lady didn't appreciate the fact that we used her place to work on our motorcycles.

She freaked when she came over and saw the bikes on stands with just a pie plate underneath to catch the oil … got all nervous it would overflow and ruin the carpet in the living room.

Not to mention we lived on the third floor.

And the front stairs had tire marks.

Picky, picky.

My other roommate has lasted 37 years … my wife, Barb.  We pretty much avoided all the previous grief of room-mating when she told me in the VERY beginning that she was not a supporter of motorcycles in the house.

I respected that, and in almost four decades I can honestly say we have had no vehicles of any kind in the living room.

Makes for a better marriage that-a-way.

So based on those two experiences I went into this roommate thing with Elite Angler Russ Lane thinking, eh, the dudes got at least a 50-50 chance.

So long as he doesn't bring any cats.

Or a Saxophone.

"…who who, who-who.."

Best want to know a man, send the dude shopping.  By himself.  You'll know everything you ever need to know when you peek inside those plastic bags.

So the first thing Russ and I do is go shopping at the Super Wal-Mart.  Hardware and hooch in the same store, within smellin' distance -- by aisle D I'm going to have this Russ dude figured out.

I start shopping in the bakery aisle.

He starts shopping in the sporting goods aisle. 

He needs a fishing license, I need those dozen little cupcakes.  We confer and plan to meet in the middle by the seasonal stuff neither one of us remembers to buy until the season is about done.

Twenty minutes later I see him walking to me, his cart is filled with a microwave, about a dozen frozen dinners to stick in the microwave, a case of Red Bull and a handful of 5-Hour Energy things.

I have bakery stuff, bacon, bakery stuff, American cheese, bakery stuff, Coca-Cola, bakery stuff, eggs, bakery stuff, and bandages.

See for yourself, we lined up everything on the table so you can judge for yourself. My stuff is on the left as you are looking at it and Russ' stuff is on the right.

I believe him to be microwave dependent. I KNOW I'm bakery dependent (but I stuck some protein drinks in there because I'm going on a diet that says you can't eat carbs and since I don't know if the bakery bakes with carbs, I got the protein stuff to wipe out the carbs just in case).

Last night as I was standing by his boat as he was getting the thing ready for the tournament, I asked him what it is he eats so he stays in shape and ready to compete since I haven't been any of that since June 12, 1968 when I felt in shape that day.

Here's Russ:

"Every morning during practice and tournaments I eat a Pop-Tart with Parkay on it, or, I microwave a sausage and egg sandwich, and of course, a cup of coffee.  At 9 a.m. I have a Red Bull and a frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich that has defrosted by then. At 11 a.m. I have a 5-Hour Energy drink and for the rest of the day I have another PB&J sandwich and a couple of granola bars."

No fried food at all, but the night before Russ hits the carbs, as I sit and drink an ugly tasting protein swill, pretty hard by eating a serving or two of microwaveable pasta, "especially if it is going to be hot like it is here because I will burn a ton of calories.  I'll also drink a lot of flavored water to keep hydrated."

As he says that I make a nice 3-point shot of the ¾ filled protein swill into the garbage and grab the bag of Fritos.

"…who, who…who-who…"

Russ and I are staying in a free place on the lake that is owned by friends of his mother-In-law and we both agree, ESPECIALLY RUSS, that it is the most spectacular place imaginable, ESPECIALLY RUSS.

It doesn't always work out that way though.  This is what Russ had to deal with while fishing the Pickwick tournament.

"A friend of mine has a hunting camp over there and he said I could stay there if I wanted, and everything was sold out in the area, so I said great.  Turns out he hadn't been to the camp in awhile, a long while."

Key words, "Long While."

"db it was the worst ever, it was overrun by rats, in fact one morning I went into the kitchen and STEPPED on one, killed it right there."

I get one of those shivers you get when you think there for the grace of God goes his foot, not mine.

"It's very hard to find a place to stay out on the road that is safe and comfortable.  Most times I just stay in a hotel by myself, but it has to have a refrigerator and a microwave."

Then Russ looks at his watch and sees that it's around 9:30 p.m., "have to get to bed, one of the things I always have in my game plan is rest.  Seven hours a night is crucial. Less than that and it's hard to get my mind to stay focused and I seem to just be going through the motions."

Ten o'clock and it's lights out.

The last thing Russ says before his door closes is this; "I need to keep practice and the tournament routine as exact as possible, don't want anything to change all week.  Win practice, win the game."

I say good night, go into my room, and set the alarm for 4:15 in the morning, or as I see it, still pretty much last night.

Next up for the B.A.S.S. Odd Couple.

Game Day!

And a surprise.

…for my roommate.

      "Tell me, who are you
'Cause I really wanna know…"

Who Are You
The Who
        


-- db

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